For a show I wrote off during the first few episodes of the season, Shameless Season 10 Episode 12 managed to course correct the series in a way I didn't think possible.
It was all thanks to Ian and Mickey's wedding. If you watch Shameless online, you know nothing brings the Gallaghers together like a wedding, and it was perfect.
Ian and Mickey's relationship will forever be a big part of the show's DNA, and part of its success is in the way the couple has been written.
There have been needless hurdles thrown at for them in the latter years, but the wedding was as perfect as they could have hoped for given the circumstances.
Mickey's homophobic father being out to ruin the day was no surprise -- Mickey comes from a long line of men who married men, but none of them were romantically involved.
Those pairings have happened so they didn't need to testify against each other in court.
Terry: Mickey's not marrying that ginger fuck today.
[Church of Gay Jesus members sing.]
Terry: Oh, what the hell? Fuckin' hippie homos.
Terry's Friend: Jesus, look at all these lesbos.
Terry: And fairies. Kumbaya, bitch!
[Terry exits the car and waves a gun. Everyone chants at him. He gets back in the car.]
Man: What do you want me to do?
Terry: Drive, fuckhead. I can't shoot 'em all.
Terry has had scuffles with his son over his sexual orientation in the past, and Mickey has always managed to escape the darkness and see things with a different perspective.
But, the game changes when someone sets the wedding venue on fire and spray paints a homophobic remark on the wall to let them know who did it.
Mickey would have been sent straight back to jail if he wasn't restrained. He's always been a hot-headed character. He thinks with his fists first and asks questions later. That's his norm.
The way the wedding came together was a stroke of genius, and it brought one of the show's most beloved couples full circle.
Indeed, it was a stressful day, but at least Ian had his former followers from his days as Gay Jesus to keep the new venue under lock and key. It's not often Terry is scared, but it was satisfying that he exited the new venue knowing he was outnumbered.
Liam: You get them anything for the wedding?
Carl: Yeah, edible boxers.
It was somewhat concerning that he popped up while the happy couple was enjoying their honeymoon. At least the producers decided against a cliffhanger ending leaving Ian and Mickey's lives on the line.
The key to a blissful marriage for these two will involve getting Terry to break his parole and back in jail. That will be tough because he has a constant stream of muscle following him, but Ian and Mickey have never shied away from a challenge.
The most frustrating aspect of the nuptials was that there was no mention of Fiona. Even if she couldn't make it to the event, she could have at least called to check in.
Liam: Father Pete marrying you?
Ian: Father Pete's Catholic. Pope won't let him marry gay people.
Liam: But Father Pete's gay. Lives in the rectory with the organist with the nipple ring.
Carl: Wait, the organist at Saint Sebastian's got a nipple ring?
It was a missed opportunity, for sure, but this was also the first installment of the show in which it felt like the Shameless of old, and it didn't even have Emmy Rossum.
Frank shedding a tear during the event, confirmed that there is a heart in there somewhere. You just need to ply him with enough alcohol, and he'll show that he can be there.
Liam playing Frank at his own game was excellent because it's not very often anyone outsmarts Frank Gallagher.
But Liam has spent a lot more time with Frank than his siblings over the years. Liam has been at the center of many of Frank's biggest cons, so it makes sense for him to understand how to outmaneuver his father.
With Shameless Season 11 serving as the last-ever chapter for the family, it's scary to think about what might become of both Debbie and Carl.
Julia instigated sex with both of them -- not at the same time, thankfully. They're no Mickey and Sandy, but from a legal standpoint, Julia was a victim of statutory raped, and that's going to cause problems for everyone.
Julia is a troublemaker, but Debbie should have gone straight to Claudia about what her daughter was doing. Debbie has to accept responsibility for that. She broke the law, and Claudia seems intent on ruining her life for it.
The horrible thing about this is that it was a game on Julia's part to piss off her mother. There are ways to get back at your parents, but not very many people would stoop this low.
If Debbie does get convicted, it will probably trigger a mandatory check by CPS to assess the welfare of the children in the home. And just like that, we might have our final arc for Debbie.
Carl: How much do these tuxes cost?
Ian: Mickey rented them at some fancy place downtown.
Carl: Where's Mickey getting all the money for this?
Ian: Savings, he says.
Liam: Hmm. Savings?
Sandy has been a good addition to the expansive list of characters, and she does share a connection with Debbie. There's something genuine about the way they act around each other. Sandy also doled out one of the best TV punches to defend Debbie against Julia's bitter tongue.
Carl is in a murkier state because he didn't ask Julia when she would turn 18 until his sister was arrested. If Julia says she had sex with them both, Carl could be the next one arrested, likely ruining his chances of doing what he wants to do in life.
Lip's final arc is probably going to be about battling his sobriety, but at least he will have Tami by his side. He made an impulsive decision on Shameless Season 10 Episode 11 to rent a home without consulting Tami. He put her in a horrible position, and he failed to understand why.
Tami has proven that she shuts down whenever there is conflict. She puts a wall up that's all but impenetrable, but the only thing that got through to her was Lip being drunk after their argument.
Lip was positive about the move initially, but he started to flake on it when he realized he would not see his family as much. He should have still spoken to Tammy about it before making a decision.
Before Fred's birth, Tami failed to give Lip any input into whether she was keeping the child, but there was some marked progression for her when she corrected Lip when he implied the child was only his.
Now that they're staying in the South Side, fixing up their home will be a therapeutic process. They need to find a way to communicate with each other that doesn't involve shouting matches. It's not healthy, but a relationship is a two-way street.
For now, they are where they are supposed to be. If they change their minds down the line, they need to speak about it.
And Cami had no right whatsoever to urge Brad to fire Lip.
Carl: Take your meds yet?
Carl: Going to be a stressful day.
Ian: Got it.
That was a low blow. Lip does not get involved in her relationship, so why should she be allowed to speak about him in an accusatory tone?
Love was most certainly in the air, and it was about time Kev and V got engaged. There were so many moments it seemed like Kev was up to no good to benefit his new career path.
The most likely theory in my mind was that he was saving the money for the building next door to his bar -- to open a gym. But getting put on blast and proposing to Veronica made it all worthwhile.
We've witnessed the highs and lows of this relationship, and they deserve happiness.
Liam: Mickey's the bride?
Ian: Nope, groom.
Liam: So, you're the bride.
Ian: No, also a groom.
Liam: Who's wearing the white tux?
They've tried to get married before, but there have been hurdles. Now, Kev needs to track down his crazy ex and force her to sign divorce papers.
That could make for some fun during the final season.
"Gallavich" could have served as the series finale. Bringing the characters together for this momentous occasion capped off the worst season to date.
Okay, Shameless Fanatics!
What did YOU think of the wedding? Did you want Terry to get a horrible death? Where do you stand on Debbie and Carl sleeping with a minor?
Hit the comments!
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.